Roofing is one of the necessary expenses every homeowner must face at one time or another. While the initial cost of a roofing system is only about 10% of the initial cost of the house, the roof is responsible to keep about 90% of the elements out. What most homeowners don’t realize is there is a direct relationship between the quality and expense in roofing. The cheapest route is not the smartest route when you are protecting several expensive possessions and priceless memories. Bargain basement shopping for roofing material is no bargain, if you have to replace your roof every 10 years. With a little research and some “common cents” you can make an informed decision about which roofing product will bring you quality, value, and lasting performance against the elements.
When shopping for roofing products you must be aware that several items effect the cost of installation. These include roof pitch, roof complexity, roof height, project accessibility, market conditions, project location, and labor availability.Also, think about talking to a roof contractor. If your roof design is a simple one with easy accessibility in an urban area, chances are your roof will cost less than someone who has a steep roof with multiple facets located in the same area. This is the number one hang up homeowners have when comparing projects with, say what their neighbors paid. Remember each project is unique and contractors bid projects based on details specific to that project. With this in mind, let dive into the best roofing products for your buck.
Asphalt roofing is one of the most commonly used roofing materials on the market. The vast popularity shows that it is relatively low in cost, somewhat easy to install, and has a decent performance history. Nationally, you can expect to pay around $5 per square foot for asphalt depending on the location, style of shingle, and material chosen. The average life expectancy of a 30 architectural shingle is approximately 15 years before major signs of aging are apparent. The standard limited warranty from most manufacturers is 10 years.
Wood Shake Roofing
Wood Shake roofing materials have been used for hundreds of years. Wood shake is an excellent insulator and offers a rustic look. It is made from natural products such as cedar, redwood, or Southern Pine, and blends with landscapes. Wood shakes are not fire proof and upkeep is required as curled, cupped and split shakes occur. You will also want to prevent moss from growing where possible. You can expect to pay $13 per square foot nationally which is about 50% more expensive than wood shingles. The average life expectancy of wood shake is approximately 30 years.
Standing Seam Metal Roofing
Standing Seam Metal roofing materials are commonly used as roofing accents in urban areas and as roofing systems in areas prone to fire danger. Typically standing seam roofs carry a class A fire rating, are long lasting, and are available in a variety of colors. Nationally, you can expect to pay around $10 per square foot for aluminum or steel, $13 for zinc, with copper quoted at market price. Depending on the finish coating and elements a standing seam roof will typically last 30 years.
Membrane roofing materials are commonly used for roofing systems that have low or no slope to them. There are three types of membrane roofing materials; EPDM, TPO, and PVC. Each product has its advantages and disadvantages as well as variations in warranty. Through our experience we are partial to the PVC system and favor it for its warranty, flexibility in application installation, and longevity. You can expect to pay nationally $7 per square foot for PVC membrane roofing in a 60 mil. thickness. The average life expectancy of PVC membrane is about 30 years.
Stone Coated Steel Roofing
Stone Coated Steel roofing materials have been on the market for over 50 years. Stone coated steel roofing is not only great looking, but also durable. The manufacturers typically carry a 120 mph wind warranty, a class 4 hail penetration warranty, the panels are light weight, energy efficient, and are class A fire rated. Stone coated steel roofing is available is a variety of colors and profiles and comes with a 50-year limited warranty. You can expect to pay nationally $9 per square foot for stone coated steel roofing. The average life expectancy of stone coated steel is over 50 years.
There are so many other products on the market and if we went into them all, you would be here all day. We want you to understand the “common cents” when it comes to choosing the right roofing product for you. Remember cheap isn’t always the best value.
For each “common cents” scenario, we used a 2500 s/f roof system with typical facets, design, height, and pitch with the homeowner living in the house for 50 years. These numbers do not account for any inflation or tear off/disposal costs that would naturally occur with re-roofing and are for demonstration purposes only.
“Common Cents” tells us that the best value for dollars spent, when seeking a long-term solution to roofing, would be to purchase the stone coated steel roof system. We encourage you to do your own research and run the numbers for yourselves when faced with the immediate challenge of financing a new roof. By spending a little more upfront, you save some money long term, create value in your home, and eliminate the headache of having to re-roof your home multiple times.